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Metacognition Tools to Rethink Thinking
Metacognition Tools to Rethink Thinking
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Overview

Given how much we rely on what we think, it's a wonder that we don't invest more energy in how we think.

Metacognition, or 'thinking about thinking' can help address this by exploring a range of cognitive processes including perception, memory, learning and reasoning. It's about bringing awareness to your thinking, reflecting and understanding your internal processes, and identifying opportunities for improvement as a result. 

Far from some abstract process, metacognition is your key to accelerating your development and cultivating conscious, deliberate, and impactful actions as a result. 

Want to get started? We suggest choosing up to three of these models in this Playbook to begin exploring and improving how you think. After a few weeks playing with them, come back and choose more as you continue your Metacognition journey. 

This Playbook includes the following sections, select a heading to jump to that section.
THINK DIFFERENTLY ABOUT THINKING
These foundational models will help you reframe and gain new insights into how you think.
Mental Models
A foundational concept behind ModelThinkers, this introduces the intuitively simple idea of Mental Models and how we use them to live in a complex world. Click into the summary to view our categorisation of 'four types of Mental Models'.
REFLECTIVE THINKING
Reflection is a proven way to develop greater impact, and it involves thinking deeply about what's happened and challenging the way you think about things. Start with these techniques.
Map vs Territory
An essential reminder that given we simplify and create mental representations of the world, that none of them will be totally accurate. It's a call to action to be humble and remember that 'more than one thing might be true at any point in time'.
Fast and Slow Thinking
Any list on thinking about thinking has to contain this fundamental model behind behavioural economics, nudging and habit formation.
Double-Loop Learning
This is a reflective process that helps you move beyond just thinking about what happened and what you can learn in a narrow sense. Instead It encourages you to consider how lessons from your action/ feedback loop might challenge your mental models and understanding in a range of contexts.
Extended Mind Thesis
Want to disrupt how you think about thinking? Click into this model that is, dare we say it, mind-blowing! A radical view on how cognition works that is definitely worth exploring more.
What? So What? Now What?
This one is such a simple reflective framework, yet amazingly powerful if you incorporate it into your daily personal routine and team conversations.
THINKING HACKS
Use these techniques to improve the way you think and create impact.
Munger's Latticework
The fundamental model behind the ModelThinkers project, Munger's approach involves building combinations of models to dynamically apply to solve problems. It's what we do here, with individual models captured in Playbooks like this one.
First Principle Thinking
Along with Occam's Razor, which we almost added to this list also, First Principle Thinking is a method of identifying and removing assumptions. A great place to start in a complicated, noisy world.
Focused and Diffuse Thinking
You likely already know that multi-tasking is not a thing... but do you know the power of combining your relatively limited focused thinking with your subconscious diffuse thinking to learn, innovate and achieve more? You might want to click into our summary for some practical techniques on this one.
Second-Order Thinking
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Is your thinking focused on the immediate and obvious? Do you need to stretch out your cognitive view to what might happen next? This approach is a useful reminder to do just that.
Rolestorming
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One of the ways to gain perspective on how you are thinking is to imagine how others might be thinking about the same thing. Shift perspectives and gain perspective with Rolestorming.
Inversion
Another way to shake up your view and gain a greater perspective on your thinking is to 'invert, always invert'. Such a simple but powerful habit to develop. Click into our summary for more.
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